In the end, for all the complex models of innovation and change that exist (there are a lot), both come down to a simple picture. If you want new results, you have to expand what you are capable of doing, the situations you can do things in, and the people you can work with.
And while that sounds daunting, it gets interesting.
Because sometimes, all you need to do is expand what you think is possible … for you, for others and from the situation you are in.
Human beings are fantastic learning machines. We learn what works and what doesn’t, and then we develop skills and shortcuts at what works best. We have a built-in quick reaction system so we can do things without too much effort. It sorts the world into things to avoid (threats, risks) and things to approach (rewards, incentives), and sets off responses and ideas without us having to think too much. And therein lies the problem.
We get good at things, and in doing so we limit what we pay attention to, and what we think is possible. So there are some things we just don’t try. Some people we don’t meet. Some places we don’t go.
So progress is not always about trying harder. It’s often about expanding a little and trying some new things. Experimenting. Practicing.
We focus on practice in three areas:
- Your best self – being resilient, paying attention, and flexing
- Engaging others – surfacing different views and aligning for action
- Solutions – clarifying, solving and practising the future state
There’s more to this, but if you want to start practising now, we have a simple but useful place to start. We all occasionally get grumpy, frustrated or defensive in conversations, especially about things that matter to us. Next time you notice that happening, quietly ask yourself one of our favourite exploration questions:
What is the opportunity here?
And see what happens.